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Top 10 – Vet School Journey
5. Talk to as many people as possible. Ask for the good and bad about the schools, application processes, curriculums, and advice. To that end, talk to people – veterinarians and students alike – to have them candidly explain all aspects of their education – the worst and the best.
6. Do your research (VMCAS and student doctor websites, Vet Med School Admission Requirements book)! Know when applications are due, which schools have supplemental applications, and what the pre-requisite requirements are. When it comes to deciding where to apply … consider it all: prerequisite requirements, geographic location, special services/strengths of each program, cost of living, eligibility for in-state tuition (vet school is no cheap endeavor!) and tracking or career areas of emphasis in the school’s curriculum. Plan however suits you best, but don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and apply to a program. To be honest, I have no specific reason as to why I applied to the veterinary school I currently attend – I just went for it – and I couldn’t be happier!
7. Don’t get bogged down by one aspect of the application – remember that it is a total package you are presenting to the admissions committee – including the interview process.
8. Letters of recommendation – get excellent letters, not just letters, and get them from people who you have worked with for more than just a few weeks so that they can speak to your character, work ethic, knowledge, and professionalism in a well rounded/informed way. With each experience, think about how you are building a network within the profession. The veterinary community is very small and getting to know key players in the community may open the door to some unbelievable opportunities – some of which might alter your career path and focus within the veterinary field.
9. Don’t panic (easier said than done, I know)! It’s important to be yourself during interviews. I know many people who were borderline applicants on paper but were able to impress the selection committees enough during their interviews to be granted a seat in the class. As for the actual interview process – it’s not supposed to be scary. You are interviewing the school as much as they are interviewing you. They might push your buttons to see how you handle stress (for instance, I was told that I had arrived late for my interview and may have to reschedule as a test of my ability to cope with change in a high stress environment) but it’s all to make sure you will be able to handle the rigors of vet school.
10. Have fun and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Veterinary school is an experience like no other, it will change you in ways that high school and undergraduate education did not, and it will go by much faster than you will believe!
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